Tag Archives: Scout

Life lessons from a Border Collie

This post was originally published at Patheos.com in June 2011.

Scout after an afternoon playing in the sprinkler and rolling in the dirt. (photo © 2011 Joanne Brokaw)

I was sitting on the floor in the lobby of the veterinarian’s office, blowing soap bubbles for my five-year-old Border Collie, Scout, while we waited for our medications after our consultation with a holistic veterinarian.

A woman sitting near us was watching as Scout happily pounced on the bubbles and then stared intently into my eyes as he waited for the next wave of the bubble wand. Chasing soap bubbles is one of Scout’s favorite things to do in life. (In fact, I just typed the word and he must have read it, because he popped up from his nap and he’s staring at me, waiting to see if we’re headed outside.) Continue reading

Photos of Bailey and Daddy’s field trip

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David took  Bailey out today for some fresh air and exercise so Scout, Bandit and I could have a peaceful afternoon. I took Scout and Bandit for a walk to the library to return some books, and then left them home while I ran an errand. I confess: it was a relief to take those two without having to worry about Bailey home in a frenzy, and to not worry about the dogs fighting while I was gone.

Bandit’s chest is still really swollen, and I think the stress is taking its toll on Scout. So we just hung out and let everyone rest and have access to their favorite napping spots; Scout’s been blocked off from both my office and behind David’s recliner.

And while we were having a much needed, restful and tension-free day, Daddy and Bailey were having  super romp. They went to Mendon Ponds park, Ganandogan, and Hemlock Lake. I think they both needed some outdoor time; she’s never had an wildlife adventure like that.

So far, we’re still on eggshells. David has one more day of vacation, so tomorrow we’ll have another day keeping the dogs separated, and then on Wednesday  Bailey will begin boarding. We’re still checking a couple of places; I want her to be someplace where she’s not “in jail” but we also are really strained financially.

This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, dog-wise. Ranks right up there with making the decision to put Natasha to sleep after her battle with kidney failure. This time, though, Bailey is healthy and a wonderful dog with a serious challenge that makes it impossible to live with us. But she’s not impossible to live with the right home. In fact, the right home is going to be wonderful for both her and her new family.

Rehoming Bailey – knowing when it’s time to let go (with UPDATES)

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It is with a very, very heavy heart that I report that we’ve made the decision to find a new home for Bailey. It’s not because she’s a bad dog. It’s because she and Bandit are like oil and water, and it’s become very clear that they can’t live together in the same house peacefully or safely.

I’ve sat down a few times to tell the whole story of Bailey, but it’s too difficult to think about losing a member of our family, and to think about how confusing this must be for her. For now, I’ll just tell you about Bailey and what a great dog she is in the hopes that someone out there may need the loving canine companionship she can give. Continue reading

A “hydrant” kind of day

Sometimes you know the minute you roll out of bed that it’s going to be “one of those days.” This morning, I should have stayed in bed.

Not that anything tragic or horrible happened. It was just one of those dreary, frustrating days when you’re reminded that sometimes you’re the dog and sometimes you’re the hydrant.

Today, I’m feeling like a hydrant. Continue reading

It’s been a quiet week here at The Funny Farm

Oh look. Wildlife in suburbia. Isn't that special?

The last time I checked in, Scout had a bloody nose. I’m happy to report that that’s about the last excitement we’ve had here.

Well, that and the possum that was in the yard. That was pretty exciting. David took the dogs out late one night before we headed to bed, and there sitting on the top of the chicken coop was a possum. Pretty, isn’t he? I guess Bandit smelled him but never looked up so the dog’s didn’t actually see the critter. But for days they knew he was there, sniffing and following his trail.

We live in a village on a small lot; we’re literally feet from our neighbors. I have no idea what this possum was looking for or where he came from or where he’s going. Jim the dog catcher said it was probably looking for food; the chicken run is impenetrable, so he guessed this critter (and others like it) are snacking from the birdfeeders everyone has in their yards. Oh goodie. Continue reading

It’s a water dog kind of day

Bandit playing in the sprinkler - also known as the "automatic water dogger."

It’s been a great day here at the Funny Farm. We played water dog this morning and no one was overly muddy. (Good grief, I love my new grass.) We took a super long nap when it looked like it might rain. (Which it didn’t.) My neighbor brought me over dinner last night, which I had tonight. (Thank you Anna!) And now David is cleaning the chicken coop while the dogs play in the sprinkler in the dwindling sunlight and Murphy and I snuggle at the kitchen table. (I wish I knew how to purr.)

Scout seems great; his poop is much better, he’s had an active, fun day. Tomorrow we see the canine oncologist and talk treatment and prognosis. If today was his last day, I think he’d leave this world one happy puppy. Water dog  can do that you you.

If it's Friday, why does it still feel like Monday?

Yay! It’s Friday! But doggone it. It still feels like Monday.

For some reason, this week has flown by but I have very little to show for it. A migraine has been part of the problem; if I could just lie down and sleep for a few hours I might feel better. But Scout and Bandit – and Murphy, for that matter – are not cooperating. They all lie down and sleep, but the minute I sneak over to the couch and lie my head on the pillow, bam! They’re up and all over me.

And when I start to write? Murphy is all over the laptop. It’s not easy working with animals in the house. But I shouldn’t complain. I could be at a real job where they make me wear real clothes and do real work. I’ll take the dogs and cat.  Continue reading